Review: Wave Alchemy Focus Pack: Production Fuel

Us producers are always looking for affordable and fresh sound libraries to add to our existing sonic palettes. Noah Pred checks out Wave Alchemy's latest focus packs designed to get your beats on.  

Wave Alchemy has been steadily developing their reputation for carefully processed loop and sound libraries, employing unique and cutting-edge techniques to contribute fresh sounds to a crowded marketplace. Furthering their identity as a top-notch sample squad while opening themselves to new customers seeking more bang for their buck, they've recently launched a new series of Focus Packs: at the affordable price of only £11.95 (aprox. $20 USD) per bundle, a wealth of tailored sounds can be had for the price of an upscale lunch. Two such packs have been released so far: Claps & Stacks, and Drum Fills & Builds.

Claps & Stacks

Layered and processed multi-transient claps are all the rage in house music at the moment, and Wave Alchemy has sought to satisfy this key niche in the modern producers' drum library with a diverse array including layered ensemble clap stacks, tight and snappy single claps, synthetically generated claps, processed drum machine claps, and a wide range of dirty, decimated, lo-fi claps and sculptured noise impulses. 562 samples are provided in total, featuring dynamic blends of acoustically sampled and electronic clap origins – including classics such as the TR-909, TR-808, TR-707, TR-505, Linndrum, Machinedrum, Sequential Drumtraks, Oberheim DX and more, all run through Wave Alchemy's collection of lo-fi and high-end outboard processors.

And this isn't your grandpa's processing chain: it prominently features an Oto Machines Biscuit, EMU SP-12, Akai S950 and various analog filters and sound shaping boxes, as well their in-house acetate process: cut to an acetate dubplate, each sample was recorded at multiple playback intervals to capture the unique deterioration of the acetate medium over time; from these multiple versions of each clap, the most pleasing distortion results were selected for inclusion. The result is an exhaustive collection of distinctive clap sounds that are designed to deliver texture, punch, crispness and clarity to your drum tracks. Warning: may induce whiplash!

Drum Fills & Builds

One of the trickiest bits of polished production is enhancing the transitions within your track. Wave Alchemy's Drum Fills & Builds are designed to provide easy solutions to smooth the changes of your track and build the energy with a collection of elements tailored to ease the transformations inherent in any dynamic song. Comprised of percussive builds, layered fills, dirty drum breaks and a wide palette of sound design tools spread across three distinct tempo ranges (70, 105, and 126 BPM), you'll find all sorts of samples to spark inspiration and develop your static loops into polished arrangements. The 173 samples fall into three primary categories: acoustic fills including sampled and layered drums; electronic fills built from layered drum machines and a range of analog and digital sound design components; and experimental fills and builds, employing rhythmic risers, glitched-out loops and all sorts of other twisted tools ready for action.

Studio Ready

While the Claps and Stacks are deliciously recorded, programmed and ready to use with a minimum of fuss, the Drum Fills and Builds may demand a bit more tweaking to make them truly your own – and less recognizable to the legion of other producers who might just be using them too. But that's a given with most sound libraries these days, and with their bespoke outboard processing and affordable price point, it seems Wave Alchemy has another pair of winners on their hands.

Noah Pred is a Canadian record producer, sound designer, technologist, DJ, and Ableton Certified Trainer living in Berlin, Germany. Releasing dozens of records and touring extensively since the '90s, he currently teaches a wide variety of techniques for stage and studio at the BIMM Institute. For more information, please visit: http://... Read More


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